The World Bank announced last week that it will be committing US$12B to countries in Africa to help inoculation programs across the continent as its countries struggle to keep up with other regions of the globe.
Speaking at the Virtual Meeting on the Africa COVID-19 Vaccine Financing and Deployment Strategy last week, the president of the World Bank, David Malpass, explained that funds will be deployed as either grants or “highly concessional terms”.
“We’re preparing emergency vaccine financing projects in 21 countries in Africa, including the DRC, Ethiopia, Niger, Mozambique, Tunisia, Eswatini and Cabo Verde to name a few,” said Malpass. “The funds are available now,” he said.
According to Africa’s CDC, to date the continent has managed to secured a mere 36% of its inoculation needs, and most of that figure (about 25%) are to come from the Covax initiative with the balance from initiatives from the African Union. They also estimated that it will cost between US$10B and US$15B to 1.3 billion people or about 60% of the continent’s population.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the World Bank has committed US$25B to African countries to support their health and economic recovery, and are expected to commit an additional US$15B by June, according to Malpass statement.
“We urge leaders of African countries to move quickly to secure vaccinations for their populations, and to avail themselves of the financing available from us.” said Malpass.
According to the WHO, cases in Africa region (excluding Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia) have been increasing rapidly since the middle of September, with South Africa presenting the continent’s worst numbers.